Tag Archives: wheelchair attendant


OK, so it didn’t come as a written note, but it was a message passed on via the Teacher’s Aide from his ‘second break’ attendant.

These kids are way more conscientious than I would ever be – there’s a reason Mac should be with them and why they are with him.  There are so many learning opportunities for the children who take up the role of wheelchair attendant.

I must make sure to send in one of his bike pumps so that if need be the job can be taken care of right there and then.

I’d hate to get a real ‘road-worthiness infringement’ from the students.


Filed under Access all Areas

second meeting

The second meeting of the Wheelchair Attendant Licensing Group was held yesterday.  Once again we enjoyed good attendance with 25 students making the ‘return visit’.

Many excellent ideas and interesting discussions took place about the zones and safety rules.  They were very sincere when posing their questions and ideas – this was a serious task they were undertaking.  There was even forward planning and goal setting for Mac to one day be able to be dropped of at the “kiss and drop” zone at school where he would be met by a student to assist him.  We have decided this might be possible once Mac learns to ‘blow his Mum (me) a kiss’ (I would accept a raspberry) on drop off – which only cements the resolve of the students to teach him to blow a raspberry.

The majority of sixth graders didn’t return as they have just worked out since they are only at school for another two weeks they might miss out on getting their license – some are a little ‘miffed’.

Our Regional office of DET have offered to supply the ‘all important lanyards’ for the students getting their licenses.

The next step is for me to pull together all the feedback and information the students submitted into a format they can use for learning and design the questionnaire for the students to complete.  Of course I will try to develop this using Universal Design for Learning concepts so as to not make a hypocrite of myself and ensure all students can access the information in a format best suited to their style of learning.

We are planning on running the ‘First Assessment Program’ next Thursday for the Stage 3 students.  Thursday is International Day of People with Disabilities and all students agreed this was an appropriate day to start this process.

When we talked about IDoPWD one of the girls cheered “yay, my brother” another, “yay, my mother” and one of the boys, “yay, Mac” – it made me realise it is important to allow others the opportunity to celebrate their friends and family members and the diversity they bring to their lives – it gives them a chance to be ‘loud and proud’ with the backing of an internationally recognised day.  Sure it would be nice to get to the place where we no longer need to have IDoPWD but for now I can see the benefit for these kids.

Oh, and the obstacle course… still at the concept stage, I guess it will be sorted by Thursday – but water has been confirmed as a compulsory element to the practical test… of course!


Filed under Access all Areas, Inclusion... straight up!

future wheelchair attendants in attendance

The first meeting of the ‘development team’ for the new school ‘wheelchair attendant program’ has just finished.  

The Stage 2 & 3 students had been advised of the meeting which would take place in their lunch time break – it was left up to the individual child as to whether or not this was something they wished to be involved with.

I waited at the Library anticipating 10, maybe 12 children.  The door opened, in came the first three, then some more, and more, and more.  We had over forty children in the room.

I explained it was a meeting to develop the program, not actually “get” their licences.  Still, none left.

So we discussed why we need to develop a program.  How the Department of Education just need to know everyone is safe and proper risk assessments have been undertaken.  We talked about what ‘risk assessment’ actually is.  We talked about how they too, as ‘wheelchair attendants’, need to be safe as well as Mac (or any other child) in a wheelchair.  We talked about how it is important to always be respectful of the person in the wheelchair…  not just “taking off” with them.  And we spoke about how some people who use wheelchairs don’t need any assistance at all, highlighting everyone is different and has different needs.

Oh, and of course, we touched on the very important issue of “whether a lanyard would be supplied with the licence”!

We now have three teams.

The Zone Identifiers: this team will work with a map of the school and identify areas where we might have some adult only and stage 3 only push zones.  They will report back next week with their recommendations.

The Exam Planners: this group will think of some practical tests to do as part of the program.  They think they might like  to design an obstacle course and a chair with some water that you should try not to spill.  They will work on how to identify different braking systems on a chair etc.

The Theorists:  this team are coming back next week each with one or two rules or pieces of information they think needs to be given as part of the theory portion of the program.

The summary sheet used to get them thinking about the different aspects of the program can be accessed here.  


If you have any further suggestions feel free to share.

This is a great learning opportunity for these children – but it is also fun.  

They have been buoyed by the fact other school have shown an interest in adopting the program they develop once it is complete.  There is a real sense of importance and pride at the moment in this group of students.

For me personally to see just how many people Mac has had an impact on is absolutely breathtaking.  

There were a number of children in attendance I think some teachers would have been surprised to see.  But what Mac provides is the opportunity for some children to be kind and caring without ‘losing face’ and so, for some of the more ‘hardened kids’, he has a very important role to play in their lives.  I know from the shared experiences of others that sometime the greatest advocates come from the most unlikely places.

It will be interesting to see what the turnout is like next week now they know they have work to do…


Filed under Access all Areas, Inclusion... straight up!